How can you make sure you have better bowel movements? The first step is to drink adequate amounts of water. I can’t stress that enough. There is no way you can have healthy bowels if you’re dehydrated.
To get enough water, simply take your weight in pounds and divide the number by two. That number is the minimum amount of water, in ounces, you need to drink every day.
A stool culture can help identify an overgrowth of bad bacteria, parasites, or yeast. It can also provide information on the amounts of healthy bacteria in the GI tract, and provide levels of inflammatory markers.
When I order stool cultures from patients, I have them sent to specialized laboratories that know how to properly handle and assess the specimens. I currently use Doctor’s Data or Genova Diagnostics. (I have no financial interests in either company.)
My experience with using hospital-based labs has not been good. Once the results are obtained, a plan can be developed to correct any dysbiosis (bacterial imbalance) in the gut. When the gut bacteria levels are restored to a more healthy state, other health problems usually improve.
Certain nutrients can be helpful for promoting a healthy gut. Although each person is a unique biochemical individual with his or her own needs, we can make a few general suggestions for better gut health.
Imbalances of gut flora can be improved, first of all, by taking good prebiotic and probiotic supplements, which provide nutrients for the normal flora as well as supplying the colon with healthy bacteria to repopulate it.
Vitamin C at a dose of 3,000 mg to 6,000 mg per day is also beneficial for gut flora and helps to relieve constipation. For those who are severely constipated, up to 10,000 mg per day of powdered buffered vitamin C along with 2,000 mg to 4,000 mg of magnesium may be required.
But be aware that too much vitamin C and magnesium can actually cause problems of their own. If you get loose stools with vitamin C or magnesium, simply lower the amount until the diarrhea resolves.
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